Road freight sector wants all road users included in EU’s Emission Trading System

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The International Road Transport Union (IRU) has published a call to the European Parliament Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) to include all users in the Emission Trading System (ETS).

Road freight sector wants all road users included in EU’s Emission Trading System
Photo credits @ Wikimedia / Raimond Spekking CC BY-SA 4.0

The EU ETS is an important part of the EU’s policy to combat climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions cost-effectively. It is regarded as the world’s first major carbon market and said to remain the biggest one.

The ETS works on the principle of “cap-and-trade”. It sets an absolute limit or “cap” on the total amount of certain greenhouse gases that can be emitted each year by the entities covered by the system. This cap is reduced over time so that total emissions fall.

Under the EU ETS, regulated entities buy or receive emissions allowances, which they can trade with one another as needed. At the end of each year, regulated entities must surrender enough allowances to cover all of their emissions. If a regulated entity reduces its emissions, it can keep the “saved” allowances to cover its future needs or sell them to another installation that is short of allowances.

The sectors covered by the existing EU ETS include power and heat generation, energy-intensive industrial sectors and aviation within Europe.

Now, the European road freight transport sector, including road goods transport operators, express delivery operators, freight forwarders and importers and exporters, call on members of the ENVI Committee of the European Parliament to agree on the inclusion of road transport in the ETS provided that the following principles are embraced:

  1. Include all road users: ETS road should simultaneously apply to all road users, ranging from individual car users to commercial freight transport. There should not be any discrimination between road users.
  2. Boost uptake of low and zero-carbon fuels: earmarking the ETS for road income and investing these revenues in the uptake of low and zero-emission carbon fuels and the deployment of interoperable refuelling/recharging infrastructure is a key for the transition to be made in the coming years. Without sufficient funding, the road transport sector will be deprived of a unique opportunity to accelerate a sustainable turnaround.
  3. Avoid multiple CO2 taxes, charges and duties and use only one single instrument as this is the most effective: ETS for road will provide for an EU-harmonised framework to effectively reduce the CO2 footprint of the road transport sector. Any national ETS schemes for road transport or other CO2-related taxes charges or duties should be phased out.

“If the above conditions are met, the inclusion of road transport in the ETS would support the decarbonisation ambitions of the road transport sector within the Single Market. All undersigned associations are of the opinion that incorporating provisions along these lines into the ETS Road text will have road transport contribute its fair share in achieving the EU climate goals,” adds the IRU’s statement.

The call was signed by the European Association for Forwarding, Transport, Logistics and Customs Services, the European Express Association, the European Shippers’ Council and the IRU.

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